Will AGV Drive Us Soon?
No one is perfect and as a result, human error occurs. Therefore, automated systems have been invented to correct some of our faults as the human race. However, automatic guided vehicles (AGV) are a fairly new concept, only being around since 1953, invented by Berrett Electronics, located in Northbrook Illinois. Initially, AGV technology has only been available to the industrial world, inside of warehouses and factories. Since then AGV manufactures have seen this niche and have jumped on board in all industries that AGV technology is applicable.
AGV manufacturers now must decide what type of AGV technology is best for their clients. AGV can conceivably be self guiding in a few different ways: wired, guide tape, laser target navigation, gyroscopic navigation, natural features navigation, steering control, vision-guidance and finally, geoguidance. Depending on the environment in which the AGV is working each self guided system has its advantage. AGV manufacturers have reduced cost, increased production and have made their factories or places of work more efficient. So what will be the next step and who will benefit?
In recent years, AGV manufacturers have been able to tap the general public market. Their systems have been implemented into the automotive industry as well as the public transportation sector. Being from Detroit, Michigan and having most of my family members working for the “Big 3” (Chrysler, Ford, or GM). I have seen this technology develop in cars. Full implementation has not been integrated. However, the technology is now available to fully automate cars so I believe only time will tell when our personal vehicles begin to drive us? Also, in my last trip to China, huge infrastructure projects are underway to create mass transportation train systems that will be using AGV technology. I am excited to see where the AGV manufacturers take their technology and implement it next.